Google rolled out one of its most controversial updates in 2012 and named it the penguin update. It was controversial because it made use of link signals as its way of determining relevance of a website aside from its clout, and by link signals it means it placed into consideration the amount of work done particularly on the anchor text level.
This just goes to say that Google recognizes the seriousness of SEO in delivering rankings therefore it has waged war over what it considers as over-optimized sites.
According to micrositemasters:
“It means that every single site we looked at which got negatively hit by the Penguin Update had a “money keyword” as its anchor text for over 60% of its incoming links. On the other hand, the sites that were not hit by the update had much more random percentages. Having over 60% of your anchor text being a money keyword did not guarantee that your site would be hit by the penalty (many of the sites not affected had numbers just as bad), but if under 50% of your anchor text for incoming links were “money keywords” it’s all but guaranteed you weren’t affected by this update.”
One of the major culprits therefore is the amount of targeted keywords in your website vis-à-vis the amount of anchor text pointing to your website.
It is important to note that with this update the amount of incoming links are given more importance in contrast to the authority of the site where it is coming from. Nonetheless the relevance of the site is placed into the limelight. So forget about placing your links into just about any site you encounter even if it’s a pr7 and a do follow. As long as the site is not related to your niche it will still prove a major obstacle when Google does its penguin dance.
Constant Content also has this to say:
“Links from irrelevant sites: The other pattern found in this study was that sites with links from websites in unrelated niches were more likely to be penalized. Almost half of the penalized sites had no links from other sites in the same niche, and over 70% of the penalized sites had less than 30% of their links coming from related sites.”
So right now diversifying your link-building tactics is not as important in the eyes of Google. What weighs more are good relevant (harder to acquire) links and not spammy ones which one can buy over at fiverr.
How to Make your Website Penguin Proof
The emphasis on over-optimisation at the heart of Google’s Penguin update stems from the quality of the website in question. One of the foremost issues being answered by Google in making your website rank is; is the content helpful and does it match the searchers query? along with a number of other factors in your pages as well.
- Focus on usability – Ask yourself how easy can one navigate through your pages? Will they find what they need right away? How does your sitewide links figure in making your website a little less spammy?
- Focus on content – As always content is king! Update your content, give trivias, tell stories, create news and be aware of your best pages so you can expand on what your users are looking for in your website.
- Focus on your site and engage users – perhaps the most important question of all to answer is “Will your users be willing to share your website to his/her friends?” if the answer is no then expect the penguin. Take responsibility in also making your site hassle free like: page speed, colors, banners, advertisement (not too many) etc.